ZIMBABWE’S DAILY NEWS OWNER LAUNCHES SA-BASED WEBSITE
This week, six defiant words - "The Daily News will be back" - appeared at the top of The Daily News’ new Website, promising readers the battle is far from over. Following the paper’s September 12 closure, the main Website was stripped of its stories. However, people from around the world continued to use the Web site’s interactive chat page to keep each other informed of the situation and voice their opinions on the matter.
According to Gugulethu Moyo, the paper’s legal advisor and director of corporate affairs, the idea of re-launching the paper on the Internet had been in the pipeline for weeks. Moyo said The Daily News’ management was, however, cautious as they didn’t want to infringe upon the law by using the Internet. "The Internet is a more complex jurisdiction," she said, adding that the company would ensure they are not breaking the law before proceeding forward.
"It’s done really," Moyo said. "Although we cannot publish in Zimbabwe, we can publish everywhere else in the world. We are having to go through jurisdictions where there are no draconian laws, not because we wanted to but because we have to.
"Any government that wants to regulate information will have a very difficult time due to technology," Moyo said. "We are living in what they call the information age. " The Daily News’ online team has been based in Johannesburg since May and Ecoweb International has hosted the Website since June.
Moyo said she was not sure when the paper would be relaunched and new stories would appear for readers but she was confident the company was going in the right direction. "The point is that the story of Zimbabwe will continue to be told," she said
Also this week, the Administrative Court ruled it would treat Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe’s (ANZ) appeal on its rejected registration application as urgent, scheduling a hearing for 16 October.
In his decision on Thursday, Administrative Court president M. Majuru agreed with ANZ Chief Executive Officer Samel Sipepa Nkomo’s view that the company had not been treated fairly by the suddenness of The Daily News’ and The Daily News on Sunday closure.
Nkomo said ANZ has been losing about $38 million per day since the paper’s sudden closure.
"There is no doubt that this constitutes considerable prejudice to the applicant," Majuru wrote in his judgement.
ANZ applied for registration with the Media and Information Commission (MIC) on 16 September 16. The MIC rejected the application four days later, effectively banning both papers from publishing.
The judgement was welcome news for the company, which publishes The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday, as only two days earlier six more journalists from the stable were arrested and charged with working without accreditation.